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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017
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Kristine J. Anderson
West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.


Nat-og-Dag

She was close to sixty years, and her mind had for some years been confused for she, who was a lady of the strictest virtue, believed herself to be one of the great female sinners of her time.
                      —Isak Dinesen, “The Deluge at Norderney”

I often think of Miss Nat-og-Dag, that lifelong fanatical virgin, who at the age of fifty inherited a fortune and dreamt herself a past in which she had been a glamorous, much sought-after courtesan. After this 180-degree turn in attitude, she could hardly open her mouth without referring with discreet gusto to some licentious incident in her scarlet past. Her imaginary lovers numbered in the thousands, maybe even the millions. She remembered each one with tenderness and lust, or sometimes even haughty scorn. Who cares whether any of these encounters really happened? Their recollection brought color to her cheeks and the confidence to hold a salon on the top of a hayloft during a raging flood while entertaining a fake Cardinal and bringing about the marriage of two true minds. And all this in the moments before dawn would bring death by drowning.

sunlight strips earth
of shadow, darkness
soothes the soul

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